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Health News Fri, 2 Apr 2010

NADMO, GHS, cautions public on outbreak of Swine Flu

Accra, Aril 2, GNA - The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS), on Thursday alerted the public on the threat of possible outbreak of influenza HINI (Swine Flu) in Ghana.

The announcement indicated that the danger was heightened by sporadic outbreak of the disease in schools in some regions, leading to their closure in the past few weeks.

A statement signed by Mr. Kofi Portuphy, National Co-ordinator of NADMO, mentioned Greater Accra: Merton Primary School, Tema Parents Association, Tema, Achimota Basic School, Lincoln Community School, Dzorwulu and American International School, East Legon.

The others were Eastern Region: Okuapeman Secondary School and Northern Region: Nankpanduri Senior High School.

The statement said that minors and children were the most vulnerable group and asked the public "to minimize crowding at social events especially those meant for children during the Easter holidays".

It explained that the recent outbreaks, which lead to suspension of classes, meant that most children from these schools might be incubating the disease without showing any signs or symptoms and could easily affect others.

The statement stressed that "due to the mode of transmission, crowding at social events, especially for children coming from different schools, would be highly fertile grounds for easy spread of the disease to the family members, friends and community.

It said that "the transmission of the disease was from human to human, through droplets, released during coughing, sneezing and touching surfaces contaminated with body fluids, secreted by infected persons, and touching the eyes, nose and mouth without washing hands."

The statement said the signs and symptoms of the disease included coughing, sneezing, fever, chills, runny nose, head ache, vomiting, sore throat and body aches.

It said that "the complications of the disease may lead to pneumonia and difficulty in breathing and that prevention of infection is through observance of good personal hygiene by washing hands with soaps and water as often as possible especially after touching surfaces and shaking hands."

The statement advised the public to report to the nearest health facility after observing any one or more of the signs and symptoms and avoid crowded environments to prevent spreading the disease to others.

NADMO and GHS wished all Ghanaians a safe Easter Celebration.

Source: GNA